Opinion writer and author who rose to fame for writing political articles for MSNBC.com and for serving as the director of global communications for Sara Lee Corporation.
Her father was murdered when she was five years old.
She led Procter & Gamble's "My Black is Beautiful" campaign to target African American women.
She was born in University City, Missouri, and raised by her mother in Illinois.
She investigated the Atlanta Child Murders, which were committed by Wayne Williams.